The Week In Music: "Weird Al" To Perform This Way
The Internet lit up like wildfire Wednesday when news spread of Lady Gaga's rejection of "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of "Born This Way." In a blog on his website, Yankovic mourned that his request to include his parody, "Perform This Way," on his new album was greeted with a "no" from her royal Gaganess. "I wish you all could have had a chance to see the video we were going to do for this thing," said Yankovic. "It was going to be beyond awesome, and disturbing on many levels. Oh well." Not going down without a fight, disgruntled fans stirred up Twitter chatter in support of the weird one, and ultimately word came back from Gaga's camp that she had not actually heard the song. "Gaga didn't refuse permission of the record," said Troy Carter, Lady Gaga's manager. "In fact, she's never heard it and is a big 'Weird Al' fan." In a storybook turn of events, Gaga finally heard the song and gave Yankovic her monsteresque blessing. "I'm thrilled on many levels to hear this, because 1) I truly respect and admire Gaga as an artist and…2) it means I GET TO PUT OUT MY ALBUM!" wrote an elated Yankovic. Thankfully, this Gagantuan crisis has been averted. Even better, Yankovic announced that all proceeds from the song and its forthcoming video will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign.
In related Gaga news, on her way to becoming music's current marketing genius, the Fame Monster has made few missteps in a career in which she seemingly has arrived as fully developed brand. But could we be witnessing misstep number one? Fans seem put off by one version of her new Born This Way album cover that features Gaga as half human and half, well…motorcycle. The cover was tweeted by Gaga and currently appears in Amazon's online store, but some fans are claiming it's a substandard fake. Claiming it is reflective of the Photoshop work of a child, little monsters are lamenting the cover's cheap, unprofessional look, and parodies are already springing up (we like the half Celine Dion, half Titanic version). But is it a misstep? Or is this another Gaga strategy to generate buzz and controversy? Time will tell, but for now, Gaga is keeping a poker face.
Cee Lo Green had a lot to say at last weekend's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, including a few "F*** You" bombs directed at those responsible for cutting his set time to 20 minutes after he was a full 30 minutes late for his 4:30 p.m. start time. "It ain't my fault," said Green. "They should have given me a better time slot." Green took advantage of those 20 minutes with a set including an instrumental cover of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man, "Smiley Faces" and "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, and of course the infectious "F*** You." Unfortunately, Green's set was forced to a close and the singer stormed offstage before he could finish a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin.'" It sounds like the change in his pocket wasn't enough to get him onstage on time.
When you think of Nashville, it's likely a number of things come to mind, including the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and of course heritage musical acts such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton. And now nine-time GRAMMY-winning producer/musician Jack White will be a name to associate with Nashville as he became the first recipient of the Music City Ambassador Award. The award was presented to White by Mayor Karl Dean and the Nashville Music Council in recognition of the international attention his Third Man Records label has brought to the city. "Today's award recognizes an individual who carries Nashville's diverse musical message worldwide," said Dean. "Jack White's individual talent and unique creative spirit bridges gaps between genres and generations and I couldn't be more pleased to thank him for his work on behalf of the music industry and its hometown." With the White Stripes laid to rest, White has all musical hands on deck and not even a seven-nation army can hold him back now.
With Foo Fighters' Wasting Light becoming the band's first album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200, frontman Dave Grohl doesn't seem like himself these days. "You meet kids in younger underground rock bands and I'm like Bon Jovi to those people," Grohl joked to The Canadian Press. Statistically speaking, Grohl is actually bigger than Jon Bon Jovi in the hardware department, with eight GRAMMY Awards to his credit versus one for JBJ, though he has a ways to go to match JBJ's No. 1 album total of four (without counting the help of the chart-toppers he landed as part of Nirvana). But career milestones aside, Grohl hasn't changed his artistic approach. "I think our intention is still the same and our passion for the music is still the same, so when something [big happens] — like when you win a GRAMMY or you get a No. 1 record — we never assume that's going to happen," he said. That's all well and good, but if Grohl is now the new Bon Jovi to the kids, there are bigger questions at play. For instance, does this mean "Big Me" is the new "Livin' On A Prayer" and drummer Taylor Hawkins is the new Tico Torres?
In related Grohl news, Seattle grunge fans were likely shaking in their Dr. Martens over the weekend as the Experience Music Project debuted its new exhibit, Nirvana: Taking Punk To The Masses. Touted as the world's most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the Seattle band that penned such memorable tunes as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "All Apologies," the exhibition features a collage of images, an eerie soundtrack created by Washington-based engineer/producer Steve Fisk, videotaped interviews with the key figures involved with the band, and the first (of many) guitars Kurt Cobain smashed during a Halloween show in 1988. Grunge music — and a path to true Nirvana — is definitely in bloom in Seattle this spring.
While the Ke$ha juggernaut continues to pick up speed with the Get $leazy tour, the artist who wakes up "feeling like P. Diddy" recently took a moment out of her busy schedule to reminisce on poignant moments from her tour so far. "Best moment? There are so many," said Ke$ha. "Every night's amazing. I have kids outside right now chanting my name and it's awesome. There was one night a fan came onstage…and he had a tattoo of the dollar sign. I was like, 'Oh, that's awesome! Bada**. You're part of the cult, man." While not everyone gets to party onstage with Ke$ha, anyone who attends her Get $leazy tour will be greeted with blasts of cultlike glitter. Because Ke$ha don't stop, she makes it pop.
Rihanna's "S&M" is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" is tops on the iTunes singles chart.
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